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You have to wonder what the good people of Belfast make of the sudden influx of legal professionals to their great capital.
Reeling no doubt from the shock of having a score of Herbert Smith staff pitch up with big talk about dispute resolution servicing, Belfast is now facing an exodus of ever-so-slightly more biblical proportions from A&O’s City base (see story).
The magic circle firm has upped the ante by committing some 250 support staff to its new all-singing, all-dancing service support centre, with 50 fee-earners set to work in a complementary legal services centre.
Managing partner Wim Dejonghe has said he will incentivise staff to relocate to the Northern Irish capital, but the dreaded ’R’ word will no doubt hang over discussions as what promises to be a difficult consultation process gets underway. As comments on TheLawyer.com indicate, he may have to spend some time explaining the upside.
Maybe coming only a week after CMS Cameron McKenna offered some staff the exciting opportunity to work in a similar centre in India (see story), the powers-that-be at A&O thought the Belfast option would seem relatively attractive.